Wine and War: The Battle for Frances Greatest Treasure Don Kladstrup

ISBN: 9780340766774

Published:

Hardcover

336 pages


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Wine and War: The Battle for Frances Greatest Treasure  by  Don Kladstrup

Wine and War: The Battle for Frances Greatest Treasure by Don Kladstrup
| Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, RTF | 336 pages | ISBN: 9780340766774 | 7.23 Mb

Liberty, equality, and fraternity are all well and good, a champion of French culture once remarked. But, he continued, what made France truly superior to its neighbors was the French passion for wine, which contributed to the French race by givingMoreLiberty, equality, and fraternity are all well and good, a champion of French culture once remarked.

But, he continued, what made France truly superior to its neighbors was the French passion for wine, which contributed to the French race by giving it wit, gaiety, and good taste, qualities which set it profoundly apart from people who drink a lot of beer. The commentator may have had a point- after all, write Don and Petie Kladstrup, it was a well-known fact that Adolf Hitler did not like wine.

Still, their leaders teetotalism notwithstanding, the Germans showed no distaste for French wine when they invaded France in 1940. Indeed, among the first acts of the occupying army was to seize great stores of wine, sending tens of thousands of barrels to the Third Reich and ordering the conversion of thousands of hectares of vineyards into war production.Some French vintners, the Kladstrups write in this enjoyable study, went along with orders.

Many others, however, including the heads of distinguished houses like Moët et Chandon, engaged in daring and dangerous acts of resistance wherever they could. Some lied about their yields- others built false walls to hide precious vintages- and still others concocted elaborate ruses, such as sprinkling carpet dust into inferior grades of new wine to give it a musty, distinguished flavor. Not every German was fooled, and some partisans of the grape died for their troubles. But some Germans, at considerable risk to themselves, also looked the other way. The Kladstrups fill their pages with memories of the wine war from both sides of the struggle, stories sometimes somber, sometimes amusing, that commemorate those whose love of the grape and devotion to a way of life helped them survive and triumph over one of the darkest and most difficult chapters in French history.

--Gregory McNamee



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